by Mario Ruiz-Tagle, Neoenergia's CEO*
Energy production, as well as its consumption, has
evolved significantly in recent decades. The discussion about the use of new
energy sources is no longer optional and the center of the socioeconomic debate
needs to be guided in this context in favor of conscious and sustainable
The reactions of the environment towards the use of
fossil fuels are evident. The signs of relief to the Earth perceived during the
Covid-19 pandemic, from the reduction of CO² emissions and the historical
reduction of greenhouse gas emissions with measures of social distancing,
reinforced the direct relationship between human activity and climate change,
in addition to the drop in temperature and the reduction of noise in cities.
This is the century of renewable energies, with the electricity sector being
the fundamental basis for a more efficient, cleaner, economic production
system, with the need to seek innovative solutions.
Climate change is clearly reflected in the change in
rainfall patterns and prolonged periods of drought, affecting hydraulic
generation, which makes it increasingly necessary to explore other renewable
sources such as wind or photovoltaic generation.
I see great growth in Neoenergia's operations, based
on projects that value the sustainability of the business in harmony with the
planet, providing essential achievements for the Brazilian electricity sector.
We started our journey in this field more than 20 years ago and today the world
makes a very clear choice: the future is digital and the energy of the future
has become more and more vital.
The strategy of economic recovery with investments in
green energy guides our business. We can highlight tools and technologies that
help in this common goal, such as the arrival of electric cars, the
digitalization of networks and the development of Green Hydrogen. We are
nearing completion of the first electroway in the Northeast of Brazil, which
cuts through six states in the region, with an extension of 1,100 km and 18
locations with recharge points. The corridor will make it possible to reduce
the emission of polluting gases and the cost related to refueling, when
compared to diesel vehicles. In addition, in Paraíba, Piauí and Bahia, our
largest wind farms are in advanced stages of construction and, together, will
enable us to have 90% renewable generation, a percentage higher than the
country's energy matrix.
Smart grids are also part of this change, making it
possible to add technologies to the daily lives of our customers. The solution
ensures availability of energy supply and intelligence in the decision-making
system. We invest in the digitization of customer service, energy efficiency
projects and innovation, such as energy storage in batteries, electric truck
and smart meters.
We evolved in ESG practices – which stands for
environmental, social and governance – improving strategies to assume even more
robust commitments, with monitoring indicators that allow us to manage
initiatives and report more assertively to the market and consumers. In this
scenario, Neoenergia assumed the commitment to be carbon neutral by 2050 and
remains focused on decisions to avoid carbon emissions.
The modernization of the Brazilian
electrical matrix is what will bring great advances. It is necessary to
incorporate new technologies. Daily, we are encouraged to make technological
investments, requiring innovation as we go along – there is a process until new
technologies become available to a large part of the population and we are
contributing to this advance. It is noticeable that, as we invest in clean and
renewable energies, they become more accessible and indispensable.
We live in a historic moment. Society and investors
value companies and public agents that pay attention to global changes,
recognizing this posture as an asset that generates intangible value for
companies. Thus, they will be able to sustain themselves in the long term and
perform better in the face of adversity.
Innovation is one of the faces of sustainability and
the energy sector is decisive in the process of decarbonization through the
electrification of the economy. I believe the post-Covid-19 pandemic
technological challenges could further accelerate industry transformation and
modernization, demonstrating that energy is a genuinely essential service.
Each company will have its medium and long-term
strategy, but it is likely that all choices will lead us to the same
destination in the increasingly near future. The path to renewable sources and
the use of clean energy is the future of the world.
* Article written by Mario Ruiz-Tagle, CEO of Neoenergia, for Broadcast Energia do Estadão.